At the end of last year, Eaglemoss kick-started a new series of hardback graphics called DC Comics – The Legend of Batman. Similar to its long-running DC Comics Graphic Novel Collection, the ongoing series comprises a random assortment of Batman books all published on a biweekly basis.
Priced at £9.99 a pop and available through select retailers or via the Eaglemoss subscription service, each book features one Batman story – either a classic tale or a modern yarn. Over time, the collection builds into a hefty set of Bat-books covering various iconic stories from the past.
We’re now into month four/five of this particular graphic novel collection and as I’ve been on board since the start, it’s high-time I reviewed the books to tell you the pros and the cons of the set. I’m writing as a current subscriber of DC Comics – The Legend of Batman, which means my review is based on the quality of the books, as well as the delivery/customer service element that subscribers receive as part of the process – and that’s something important to note.
Is DC Comics – The Legend of Batman any good?
First up, let’s talk about the quality, DC Comics – The Legend of Batman.
If you already collect Eaglemoss’ DC Comics Graphic Novels Collection or you’ve previously collected one of the Marvel-themed sets from Hachette, then you’ll know what you’re getting for your money with this Batman series. However, for the benefit of those who have never invested in one of these sets let me start off by saying the quality of the books is excellent.
From the cover through to the back page these books are truly worth the money. £9.99 for a hardback book is great value by any stretch of the imagination, but when the books offer up great stories all printed with a beautiful finish, you know you’re onto a winner.
The pages are a joy to flick through, the stories that have been selected (so far) offer something new and the introduction at the beginning of each book keeps events in context – something very handy as the books are released in a random order. In short, if you love Batman and you’re after a set of good Batman books, then this is the set for you.
How many books are in the collection?
When the collection launched, Eaglemoss suggested the series would run for 60 issues (plus specials), however this quickly expanded to 80 issues. If the collection sells well (and there’s no reason why it shouldn’t) this series could (and probably will) continue beyond 80 issues – so bear this in mind if you’re on a tight budget. As for the specials, well this is a little less clear.
Initially, Eaglemoss presented a subscriber-only deal which offered up four additional books to accompany the series. Published at set points throughout the subscription and offered at an additional cost when taking out the subscription, these books cover the Bruce Wayne Murder/Fugitive storyline – but they’re not the only specials in the series.
Eaglemoss has now added more specials to the series, with subscribers being told they need to ‘opt-out’ if they don’t want to receive them. These specials are priced at £18.99 and are due to kick off with Batman Eternal Part 1 (arriving in early May).
I’m pretty much an ‘all-in’ kind of subscriber, so I’ve opted to receive all the specials, so long as the release schedule doesn’t get too out of hand. Heck, there’s only so much money available for these kind of purchases. That said, I’d have liked a little more warning than just an email telling me I had to opt-out.
I’ve yet to receive any of the specials – although I have been charged for Batman Eternal Part 1 – so I can’t comment on the quality of the books. However, from the promotional material that has been presented so far, they look like larger versions of the standard books so should be of the same quality.
Are the subscriber incentive gifts any good?
Ah, the subscriber gifts. If you subscribe to the DC Comics – The Legend of Batman collection you receive a number of gifts over the course of the first ten deliveries. These range from art cards and bookends to a tin mug and an embossed tin plate (no, I have no idea what an embossed tin plate is either).
The best of these gifts is arguably the free issue that you receive with your first order as this saves you some money. The remainder of the gifts are what you would expect from freebies – they’re only good if you actually want them.
At the end of the day, Eaglemoss don’t have to offer you anything free, so it’s difficult to knock the gifts subscribers receive. Let’s just say, if you’re subscribing to this collection for the gifts alone you’re subscribing for the wrong reasons.
What is Eaglemoss’ customer service like?
Ugh… this is where things get problematic. If you’ve subscribed to one of these collections and you’ve experienced no disruptions with your order then you’ll have had a great service so far. Basically, if everything runs as it should then once a month you’ll receive two books in one neat little package!
If on the other hand you’ve had a reason to contact Eaglemoss about your subscription then you’ll already know what a nightmare it is trying to get anywhere with the customer service department. Basically, pray you don’t have a problem.
Early into my subscription I experienced a problem – my books simply didn’t arrive. Money had been taken, social media posts from other subscribers confirmed that the most recent books had been published, but for whatever reason mine simply hadn’t been delivered.
No biggie, right?
Trying to get assistance from the Eaglemoss customer service dept was painful. VERY PAINFUL. In fact, to rectify my problem I had to put in multiple telephone calls, a couple of emails, a few social media posts and a few direct messages all to solve one very simple problem.
My query did get sorted eventually, but I had to really push to get anywhere and most of the answers I was being given by staff members were contradictory or just completely wrong. And that was the most frustrating thing – not one person gave me the same response and no one actually followed up the problem despite promising me they would.
If you are reading this, you’ve had a similar problem and you’ve been promised a call back, don’t wait for the call – it won’t happen. Ring them again.
I’d like to think I’ve been alone in receiving less-than-stellar service from Eaglemoss, but just take a look at the social media posts left by other subscribers and you’ll see this is a recurring problem. The customer service team just aren’t very helpful and even when you do get a reply, it is just that, a reply, not an actual answer to your question.
If I was reviewing this set purely based on the Eaglemoss customer service team I’d tell you now not to part with a penny. Thankfully (for them) I’m not and the quality of the books help to smooth over the poor customer service.
Overall is DC Comics – The Legend of Batman a good collection to buy?
In short: Yes.
As stated above, if you love Batman then this is most definitely a set worth picking up – even if you just dip in and out to get the books you want. The stories so far have ranged from The Court of Owls and Batman Reborn to The Dark Knight Returns and Faces of Death and that’s not bad going.
In terms of subscribing, well that really depends on what you want to get out of this set. If you want access to the Bruce Wayne Murderer/Fugitive specials, then subscribing is a must – there’s no escaping that fact.
If you can live without those books, then maybe find a nearby store that sells the collection and set up a standing order with them. A standing order through a store will allow you to bypass the Eaglemoss customer service department, reducing your stress levels and improving your overall enjoyment of the collection.
**UPDATE****UPDATE****UPDATE** **UPDATE****UPDATE** **UPDATE**
It’s been five months since I posted this initial review and that means I’m now a (little) bit further into my subscription.
The reason for the update to the original review? Simple – while the books have retained their high quality, the service has not improved and I’ve hit a new wrinkle.
The ‘opt-out’ specials (Batman: Eternal) have continued and at present I am awaiting the third volume. While I’ve previously stated I am an ‘all-in’ kind of subscriber, I have to admit the frequency of these specials is getting a little too much.
Each special adds around £20 extra onto my monthly subscription. That’s fine if it’s one extra book every so often, but as noted there have been three so far over the past six months – so that’s one every other month. How many more of these specials are going to be added to the subscription?
What also doesn’t help is the fact that the payment dates are creeping forward each month. Initially these payments were being taken mid-month, but now they’re happening at the beginning of the month – not ideal if you originally timed them around a specific date (pay day etc).
And then there’s the latest problem…
In the case of this month, I’ve been charged for my next set of books, but I’ve still not received last month’s set, including the special, so that’s £60 and so far, nothing to show for it. It’s not a problem that’s specific to me either – I believe this is an issue for all subscribers.
Have Eaglemoss addressed this?
Yes, today – a good couple of days AFTER taking this month’s payment (see below)…
I’m pleased that Eaglemoss have addressed this without a prompt from me, but I feel this email is purely a response to other subscribers asking the questions I would have been asking within the next few days. Also, in the email it notes the delay is due to ‘an unexpected warehouse move’ – is there such thing? How exactly do you unexpectedly move your warehouse? Answers on a postcard, please.
What I have noticed over the course of this subscription is that the inclusion of the specials delays the books considerably. Months that include a special are always months with delays, whereas no specials usually equals no delays.
So what happens next?
With specials, I’m around 20 books into this subscription, so I feel I’ve invested enough time and money to keep it going, but Eaglemoss are not doing themselves any favours and they’re letting subscribers down – badly. At the end of the day, subscribers are the bread and butter of this collection, so we shouldn’t be paying £60 and receiving no goods – it simply isn’t right.
Let’s see what happens over the coming month as this could be make or break time for me.